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IFLA Conference

World Library and Information Congress: 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council

"Libraries for the future: Progress, Development and Partnerships"

19-23 August 2007, Durban, South Africa

Call for Papers for Satellite meeting

Information Technology and Research in African University Libraries: Present and Future Trends

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban
17 August 2007

The Academic and Research Libraries Section and Makerere University Library and Collaborative Partners invite submissions for a one-day conference in Durban "Information Technology and Research in African University Libraries: Present and Future Trends"

Outline of Event:

There is a growing need to share the experiences of automating African University libraries with limited human and financial resources, but amidst a growing number of users. In June 2005, Makerere University Library hosted a three-day Sub-Regional conference on the theme "Library automation to reduce the digital divide: present and future trends for University libraries in East and Southern Africa". Fifty eight participants attended the conference from various Universities in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as participants from the University of Bergen (Norway), Universities of Iowa and Tennessee (USA).

To be able to take stock of ICT developments in the region and to continue sharing and learning from each other, it was recommended that a similar conference be held after two years. This conference will focus on the major issues, which emerged from the 2005 conference. These include: sustainability of ICTs in libraries, ICT policy, library systems and digital collection software, training of Librarians/information professionals, and addressing the bandwidth issue nationally and/or regionally.

As the conference is a follow up of what was reported in 2005, University Librarians/Directors of University Library Services (those who did not attend the 2005 conference are welcome to share their experiences) will be expected to give an update on the progress/developments in their library automation activities in the past two years and operational/ implementation challenges. The presentations will focus on the major issues identified:

(a) Sustainability of ICTs in libraries - most of the ICT facilities are donor funded - what plans are in place to sustain the activities?

(b) Policy and practice - is there a policy, is it a Library ICT policy or a University one; is the policy supportive? What is the computer-student ratio and how does it compare with the international ratio?

(c) Library systems and digital collection software - What system is used and how does it meet the needs of the University community? Is the Library system interfaced with administrative systems e.g. Academic records, Human resource, Finance? Are there digitisation activities; what software is used and how does it meet the needs of users?

(d) Training of Librarians/information professionals to face the challenges of providing information services in the new era - what special and/or additional skills are needed and why?

(e) Bandwidth - what is being done to address the high cost bandwidth problem nationally and/or regionally?

(f) The critical need for libraries in developing countries to understand how research practices are changing and what is required (infrastructure and skills) to improve and strengthen library support for research.

Each presentation may last 20 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions.

Proposals (up to one page or at least 300 words) for up to seven (7) papers must be submitted in English no later than 16 February 2007 to:

Sue McKnight
Chair, Academic & Research Libraries Section Standing Committee, IFLA
c/- Nottingham Trent University
Goldsmith Street
Nottingham NG1 5AP
United Kingdom
Fax: +44 115 848 2286
E-mail: sue.mcknight@ntu.ac.uk

Submissions will be acknowledged by return email.

  1. Written papers must be original and have never been published before
  2. Papers should be of 20 pages maximum, two-double space
  3. They should be in English with and abstract of one page in the same language
  4. 20 minutes will be allowed for the delivery of the paper
  5. Papers may be submitted by email (preferred), fax or post
  6. The author should indicate his/her personal full contact and a summary of the curriculum vitae.

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel and authors of successful submissions will be informed of the outcome of the review panel by 15 March 2007.

Written papers are required to meet the IFLA guidelines posted at:

Please note that there will be no registration fee for this satellite conference. However, any fees, including registration for the IFLA World Congress, travel, accommodation, etc. are the responsibility of the authors of accepted papers.

For additional information, please contact:
Sue McKnight (sue.mcknight@ntu.ac.uk) or
Nora Buchanan (buchanan@ukzn.ac.za) or
Dr. Maria Musoke (universitylibrarian@mulib.mak.ac.ug)